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19 May 2014

Man jailed for £1600 housing benefit fraud

A man who made up a Southend address to claim housing benefit has been jailed.

Roy Vassell, 47, of Guildford Road, Guildford, was handed a 12 week prison sentence for 15 counts of housing benefit fraud after Basildon magistrates found him guilty.

He must also pay back £1,615.54 of wrongfully-obtained housing benefit.

Mr Vassell received this amount in housing benefit from Southend Council, for what he described as a basement flat in Clifftown Road, Southend, but the council later cancelled his claim after he failed to reply to a request for more information.

However Mr Vassell then asked the Council for £4,100 worth of housing benefit to cover the rent arrears he said he owed his landlord.

He said that the landlord had hired a debt recovery company which was pursuing him for the money, which turned out to be his own company.

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